To what extent is a multi-platform publication beneficial to media institutions and audiences?
These are currently very exciting times for audiences of multi-platform journalism but the newspaper industry is in crisis as they are slow to change their business model and are struggling to make a profit. The most obvious benefit for audiences is that online content is free and they have access to a wide range of media to satifsy their need for news and a sense of community. They not only have the stories and comment – they also have video, podcasts, blogs and forums so there’s a whole new interactive experience. The most obvious benefit for the newspaper is they now have reduced distribution costs and the audience for online content is global. However, an industry which was once funded by advertising has not been able to transfer this business model to the web and this loss in advertising revenue due both to the recession and the death of the classifieds, is being blamed for the demise of the newspaper industry. Some argue that there are no benefits for either party because the true cost of multi-platform journalism is the huge numbers of editorial staff losing their jobs in cost-cutting exercises. This raises the issue of ‘quality’ as more and more content is either user-generated or from PR material.
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